About Castell

The History Behind this Texas Hill Country Town on the Banks of the Llano River

Castell, Texas

Castell is a small unincorporated riverside town in Llano County, Texas located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, with its northern border formed by the Llano River. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1964 and has the distinction of being the oldest surviving settlement in Llano County.

Castell, Texas began in 1847 as a land grant commune in Comanche territory (“Comancheria”) settled by German abolitionists and Free-Soilers.

Before Castell was settled, the land had formerly been part of the Fisher-Miller Land Grant but was sold as part of a series of five immigrant settlements sponsored by a group of prominent Germans known as the Adelsverein, including Count Emil von Kriewitz, John O. Meusebach, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Hermann Spiess, Gustav Schleicher, Ferdinand Ludwig Herff, and Count Carl Frederick Christian of Castell-Castell.

As one of the last frontiers of real freedom, Castell remains simple, clean, and without any official government. It is a place where a person can make their destiny, without the fetters of a society gone to the bureaucrats.

It is home to many generations of original pioneer stock-hardy, kind, independent, and fiercely protective of their rights and community ties.

The town of Castell was named honor of Count Carl and in 1981, his descendants, Prince Albrecht Castell and his wife Princess Maria Louise Castell visited the old Castell schoolhouse located behind El Castellito.

For more history on the town and surrounding area, be sure to check out our writings which we update regularly on our Instagram page @castelltexas or Facebook page.

Castell General Store

Castell General Store

Located along the Llano River, the Castell General Store offers staple groceries if you are willing to hear about stories of the infamous, amorous “Cockaroo” rooster — and on Saturdays, delicious BBQ and Pizza—including some of the best pork steaks in the state (when available). They also cook a mean burger and serve cold beer—ask for it “dressed”—one of our favorite eating & drinking pastimes ‘round here.

Welcoming you to it all is the owner and town character, Randy Leifeste, who’s motto is… “If you can’t have fun in Castell, you can’t have fun anywhere.” Leifeste, a man not given to understatement, will tell you there’s no place in Texas like his little hometown which has been a staple in his family since its founding in 1847.

We know he’s right! If you’re lucky, some of the resident town roosters will venture into our property to greet you properly. They are very friendly, don’t worry.

Texas Monthly Feature

Local Folklore

The story of Texas starts more than 16,000 years ago with the discovery of projectile points made by Native Americans to hunt, fish, protect and fight. They believed an arrowhead represents a symbol of protection, strength and courage. To this day, you can find arrowheads all throughout the area including up and down the Llano River, usually after a hard rain when they might surface from under the dirt. For more history on the area, follow our publishings on Instagram @castelltexas.

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In December 2020, Hollywood legend Tom Hanks starred in an American Western Drama called “News of the World” loosely based a book titled “The Captured” by Scott Zesch, who is a resident of the area and discovered the grave of his great-great-great uncle, Herman Lehmann, of whom he decided to write about, painting a vivid portrait of life on the Texas frontier.

The book opens in 1870 on the wild border between Texas and Indian Territory, in what was the area between Mason and Castell. We have a few books located in the cabins, with subjects related to these stories, should you wish to read during your stay.

Story of Herman Lehmann

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